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Hedge Funds and Heartache

Chest pains shoot up.


The meltdown is giving Wall Streeters chest pains. Jill Kalman, who runs the cardiomyopathy program at Mount Sinai, says she hasn’t been so busy since after 9/11. “Emotional stress can induce disturbances like palpitations and racing heartbeats,” she says. “The symptoms may be gastrointestinal or muscular, but it can also be a real cardiac event.” Hackensack University Medical Center chief of cardiology Louis Teichholz reports a 20 percent rise in complaints. “One patient said that every time he sits at his desk he feels chest tightness,” says David Blumenthal, a cardiologist at Weill-Cornell Medical Center. “Stress can provoke coronary instability, and stress can also produce an increase in stomach acid and muscle tension.” Which means GI docs are busy, too. “We have seen a decided increase in chest pains,” says Daniel Megna, a gastroenterologist at Staten Island University Hospital. “It’s not just the Wall Street executives. We’re also getting the office managers and secretaries who are under threat of losing their jobs.”

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